Honey is not just the sweetest product; it also gives sweet money. Apiary can be practiced from anywhere in any space.
For a starter, all you need are say 10 beehives. Depending on where you get them, this can cost you at least sh1-sh2m if they are fully colonized.
If you do not have enough space, you can set up stands with each taking three or four hives.
For the 10 hives, it means that you need only three stands.
To construct these wooden stands, you need less than sh100,000.
With these in place, the other requirements include a bee-keeper,s suit which costs sh100,000. This is won by the beekeeper during harvesting.
Overall, with sh2.5m one can start a modern 10 hive apiary enterprise.
From the 10 hives after one year, each can produce at least 20kgs of pure honey, which translates into 200kgs per year.
At a farm gate price of sh15,000 per kilogram, this translates into sh3m from the 10hives. And yet, input in form of labour is very low.
Bees have got very low predators and are not attacked by diseases so you do not need to buy medicines for them.
A bee hive remains colonized for as long as its structure is still right. Bees multiply and create new ones often.
Selection of apiary site
Water availability; bees need water to thrive in their business of producing honey. Make sure that there is a water source within a radius of 500metres. Although bees are known to travel for over 5km looking for water etc, the nearer the better. If there is no water source, you can put up your own water sources, in small saucepans or pails near the apiary site.
Good flowering plants; Bees process honey from nectar. The sources of natural nectar are mainly flowers. This is, therefore, why it is important to have flowering plants near the apiary. These can be coffee, mangoes, maize, bananas, calliandra, Eucalyptus, simsim plants etc.
Have shade over the hives; bees do not like direct sunshine. Therefore, this is why you must select a site that has trees to create a shade. Direct sunshine makes the hives too hot for the bees to live in.
Away from human habitation; The site should be at least 100metres away from human houses. This is intended to stop attacks from the bees. The nearer the hives are to a homestead, the easier it is for the bees to be disrupted into attacking people.
Keep it away from any animals or animal shelters for example a kraal. Bees are easily irritated by animals and they may attack them. Animals may also meander into the apiary site hence causing attacks.
Answered by Wilson Kabagambe